A good friend of ours reached out to use our platform to share an unread speech they wrote to share with their team. Although they ultimately did not have a chance to share it with their team, we hope that you know there are people on your team that might be going through this right now. Perhaps you are going through something similar. Whatever the case, we hope that our friend’s speech can spark a conversation and get more dialogue going about this topic, and that others won’t have to feel they have to keep a speech unread.
(Written Fall 2015)
During our final day at TI this year, Shou opened the floor numerous times for people to speak their thoughts or memories about the team or the season. Since then, I have spent the last few weeks writing this to share with you guys now.
I have told many of you my origins with this team and that I was basically looking to try something new; having no known associations with this sport or team at the time. In fact, it was much more than that. Before I joined this sport and team, I was enduring persistent anxieties that goes beyond memory and in a state of what I now know to be precursory depression. What I recognize now, is that my search for something new was really me seeking a circle of support and encouragement that did not exist in my life.
Throughout my first season, this sport and team had given me so many new experiences: traveling internationally, become a member of an athletic team, and I got to meet all of you. You guys helped me build my strength both mentally and physically. You guys have taught and continue to teach me a lot about myself.
Despite my diligence, however, I was not able to stave off a turn for the worst in my mental health that occurred during my first off season last year. My struggles with anxiety, depression, and hyper-vigilance had overwhelmed me. As a result I had to seek professional help for the first time October last year. Between then and now, I had several episodes of what I could only label as mental breakdowns; a psychiatric crisis. These episodes had brought me to deep states of self-loathing, numbness, dissociation, feeling lost and confused.
While I am in a much better state now, maintenance is a constant endeavor. I can attribute much of the stability and peace I now have to this team. I have come to this moment where I would like to express gratefulness and how much this team has added to my existence and well-being.
I appreciate all the opportunities this team has given me, whether it is racing, traveling, or simply sharing meal with you guys.
I appreciate every practice I am able to attend because not only does it push me physically, more importantly, it reinforces my mental condition.
And I appreciate all those who are here, all those who couldn’t make it today, all those who are associated with this team in anyway. Whether you are someone I interact with on a regular basis or someone I have barely said “Hi” to. Whether you are reserved or outspoken, you have contributed something to this team. And you have contributed something to my life.